I've just got back from a wonderful holiday in the UK and Portugal, and whilst the trip was packed with eating, drinking, sightseeing and catching up with friends, of course I managed to slip a bit of fabric shopping into the mix.
We spent 4 nights in Lisbon, a fabulous place to visit with it’s winding cobbled streets, rattling 100 year old trams and crazy mosaic pavements, it’s full of charm and history.
|Try walking on that after a few drinks!|
While our other halves went in search of vinyl records, my friend Marylou and I went to check out what the local fabric stores had to offer. There are a number of old traditional haberdashery shops in the Baixa area on Rua da Conceicao. Unfortunately, they didn't really do it for me, most of the stock is behind the counter so you can't get a really good look at it and what I could see wasn't all that inspiring. It’s nice to have a look at the old shops though, and Retrosaria Bijou at number 91 is worth a look, purely for it’s art nouveau design.
|Art Nouveau Retrosaria Bijou|
If you want something a bit more funky and interesting head up to Retrosaria at 61 ria do loreto, 2nd floor, for Japanese fabrics, Michael Miller prints etc and a nice selection of yarns - not many bargains to be had though.
There is also Feira dos Tecidos, Avenida da Boavista Nº 280. This is more of a chain store like Spotlight (in Australia), two floors of fabric and a lot of 1 metre remnants in the sale bins, once again though, nothing really grabbed me.
We stumbled on another little fabric store with a good selection of floral and other prints. I didnt get the name of it but it's right across the road from the Pollux Department Store on Rua dos Fanqueuros in Baixa and while you're there, go up to the top floor terrace cafe of the Pollux Department Store for cheap drinks and one of the best views in town!
A few doors up from Pollux on the same side of the road is a big yarn shop called Casa Justo but as with the haberdashery stores, it's all kept behind the counters and the signs are too far away to read what they are. Unless you know exactly what you want and can speak Portuguese you probably won't have much luck in there I'm afraid.
It was fun to have a look what was there but I left Portugal empty handed and by all accounts, the record stores weren't all that either!
I did however manage to pick up a few goodies back in London where the lovely and oh so glamorous Nicole from Nicole Needles kindly gave me and Marylou a guided tour of the fabric shops on the Goldhawk Road.
I have read with envy about these shops on many a sewing blog and it was just as overwhelming as I was expecting – so many shops each filled with so much fabric! I was pretty restrained but totally happy with my purchases.
Nicole then took us to see the Fashion Collection at the V&A Museum which was really inspiring. A relaxing drink in the stunning tea rooms there made a wonderful end to a fun day.
It was lovely to meet a fellow blogger and fabric fanatic on the other side of the world. Thanks Nicole for a great day, next time you can take us to Abakhans! :)